Boattrip on the Lys river as a family gathering

Today was a rainy grey autumn but last week was a rainy grey storm autumn day. At least that was the prediction.

In a weekend already filled with Kabouter's birthdayparty and my father's remembrance service, we were invited by Jan's widower uncle to celebrate his 85th birthday with all of his family on a boat trip.  We only knew the boarding times last minutes which was quite stressfull to find a babysit. Clearly we were the youngest in the family and only ones that needed to care whether we'd fine a teenager getting up at 6-7 or 8 AM in the morning for us.

But it all got arranged and thanks to the dreadful weather and the early morning hours we had a relatively smooth drive to the other side of the country - for the first time since long without significant traffic jams- and parked well in time along the river board to wait for the relatives and the boat to arrive.

We boarded well on the Lys river in the South of Belgium to make a trip to my home town and back. The stormy weather saved its rain for the afternoon and thankfully I had grabbed an additional sweater and a winter jacket as the upper deck was shielded but still in open air, which I had not anticipated at all. (and we didn't seem welcome at the lower deck with set tables until lunch time). Since it was cool anyhow, the best spot was outside on the deck. And that was great.
We passed along the Lys borders , which were in shocking bad state, eroding the sides completely. We passed a big lock and some industrial area's of Wielsbeke. It was a relax trip where we enjoyed some appetizers while catching up with all relatives and enjoying the landscape. 

Around noon we passed through Deinze, my hometown which was a  very weird feeling.  We passed the bridge which I cursed so often in my childhood because it always opened when I was in a rush and late :D.
It was also very emotional to pass the main church again, where just the evening before, there was a remembrance service for my dad and whose funeral had been there exactly a month before. Just next to it we passed my mom's and my old school as well as my father's past school on the other side. 

Once you leave the city center of Deinze, only recreational boating is allowed anymore as the commercial freight boats take the canal.  We could see some of the first villa's along the river that makes this region between Deinze and Ghent famous.

 At the sas in Astene, we could get out for a walk of an hour.  I felt re-energised by some many childhood memories and took the lead to show the direction of the Ooidonk castle at 25 min from there with a beautiful walk along the old river arm, the fields and the castle avenues.  However after a few minutes most of us turned around and only Jan and I and one brave cousin joined us for the walk, while all the others feared the upcoming rain and waited for us on the boat.
Needless to say our return was anticipated with a lot of eagerness by all the others who were hungry and wanted to leave but they missed out on  a great walk !! And yes, the downpour that caught us those last 5 minutes still made it worth it.

We could dry up and warm up finally during the very late lunch while outside the rain poured down. At the end of the trip we got miraciously a bit of sunshine.


Anne said…
Ik vind dat altijd speciaal, varen op een plaats waar je het goed kent. Alles ziet er zo anders uit. Achteraf bekijk je die plaatsen waar je gevaren hebt, ook met andere ogen. Mooie boottocht! Waar zijn jullie eigenlijk vertrokken? Het was toch wel een flink eind, lijkt me zo.
Kris10 said…
Leuk idee, zo'n boottocht met je familie om je verjaardag te vieren
Goofball said…
@Anne: Harelbeke was de vertrekplaats. Tussen Kortrijk en Harelbeke ligt nog een sluis, dus het is gemakkelijker om vanaf Harelbeke te starten dan.

@Kris10: zeer origineel idee (er gaan in de familie stemmen op om er een traditie van te maken), maar in deze periode van het jaar had er wat meer verwarmde ruimte mogen zijn. We hebben uiteindelijk chance gehad dat het niet al te koud was ondanks de regen en wind.

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